Begins 8 month international engagement program, recognizes Jordanian Royal Family
Amman, Jordan – Iconic Canadian visionary and athlete Rick Hansen, and the organizations that bear his name – the Rick Hansen Foundation (RHF) and its medical wing, the Rick Hansen Institute (RHI) – concluded the full day of events in Amman, Jordan as the first stop of a five-country international program taking place over eight months to coincide with the 25th Anniversary of Rick Hansen’s Man In Motion World Tour.
With the objective of expressing gratitude and celebrating the achievements of the last two and half decades, the overarching 25th Anniversary International Program endeavours to inspire the world’s next generation of difference makers, further international collaboration and partnership agreements in regards to the Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry (RHSCIR) and provide an unprecedented opportunity to recognize outstanding international achievements in the areas of finding a cure for spinal cord injuries and creating accessible communities. The remaining international stops will includes Australia (February 2011), China (April 2011) and the United States (June 2011).
"The welcome we have received from our Jordanian hosts has been as warm and generous as I received 25 years ago on my original Tour," said Hansen, President and CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation. "I would like to extend my utmost gratitude and appreciation to the Jordanian Royal Family, the Canadian and Jordanian Embassies, the Paralympic Sports Centre as well as the great organizations we have worked with in the region such as Jordan Arcs and Yes We Can."
In a whirlwind two days re-visiting Jordan nearly 25 years exactly since his original Tour, Tuesday commenced with Rick being lead by His Royal Highness Prince Ra’ad bin Zeid on a private tour of the Paralympic Sports Centre in Amman.
"After 25 years have passed, we were in the beginning involving persons with disabilities in sport," His Royal Highness Prince Ra’ad bin Zeid said during the morning tour of the Centre where Jordanian Paralympic athletes train. "Things gradually developed and we received the support mainly by your initial visit. You cannot imagine the impression that you had on our young people. Full of vitality, energy, very optimistic; you galvanized a whole population."
The day culminated in an international reception whereby Rick honoured His Royal Highness Prince Ra’ad bin Zeid as a Rick Hansen Difference Maker at an event hosted at the official residence of Mark Gwozdecky, Canadian Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.
A component of the Rick Hansen Foundation’s overall 25th Anniversary, the Difference Makers program aims to recognize individuals who have made a contribution towards a more assessable and inclusive world, furthered discoveries related to a cure for spinal cord injury, or put service above self to make an extraordinary difference in the lives of others. The first recipient of the award, for the program that will coincide with the 25th Anniversary International Program, HRH Prince Ra’ad was honoured for his work with the Jordanian Higher Council for the Affairs of Persons with Disabilities (HCAPD). As Chamberlain and President for the HCAPD, His Royal Highness Prince Ra’ad bin Zeid has seen Jordan become the first Arab nation to develop a National Strategy for Persons with Disabilities, an initiative that paved the way for Jordan’s 2007 Law on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
The Jordanian component of the 25th Anniversary International Program concludes Wednesday, December 1 when Rick will cross over the Allenby Bridge as he did 25 years ago into Jerusalem, Israel. Once in Israel, Rick will visit the Jerusalem Memorial of long-time friend Terry Fox, sign the Memorandum of Understanding at Hebrew University between the Institute of Medical Research Israel Canada (IMRIC) and the Rick Hansen Spinal Cord Injury Registry (RHSCIR) to be operated out of Sheba Medical Centre in Tel Aviv, recognize the work of two more Difference Makers and conclude the trip by meeting with Israeli President Shimon Peres.
About the Rick Hansen Foundation:
The Rick Hansen Foundation is a registered charitable organization that provides leadership to create more accessible and inclusive communities for people with a spinal cord injury, and supports the search for a cure. The Foundation achieves its goals by connecting the people and resources that make innovation possible. Please visit www.rickhansen.com for more information.
About the Rick Hansen Foundation’s 25th Anniversary:
The Rick Hansen Foundation is currently celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Rick Hansen’s Man In Motion World Tour, and the extraordinary progress that has been made in the fields of accessibility and spinal cord injury advancement since. Over the two year anniversary period (March 21, 2010 – May 22, 2012) a number of programs and events will be unveiled to inspire others to dream big, recognize difference makers, create lasting and sustainable legacies and change the world, one good turn at a time.
About the Rick Hansen Institute:
The Rick Hansen Institute (RHI), formerly the Spinal Cord Injury Solutions Network (SCISN), is a Canada-wide collaboration of researchers, health care professionals and service providers, all committed to improving the outcomes for people with spinal cord injuries (SCI) – through research, identification and implementation of best practices, and providing solutions through community partnerships. RHI’s role is to help influence all elements of the innovation system for SCI treatment, care and other services through three core areas: translational research, best practice implementation and The Rick Hansen SCI Registry. Please visit www.rickhanseninstitute.org for more information.